Libya is in a state of emergency, the General Chief of Staff has said in Tobruk as the the Libyan National Army readies itself for war against “extremist groups”.
In a statement released yesterday the newly-appointed Chief of Staff, Colonel Abdul Razzaq Nazhuri, called on all troops and officers to report for duty in the build up for the renewed conflict, Libya Al-Mostaqbal reported.
“At a time when our beloved country is under fierce attack, we call on all members of the armed forces, officers and soldiers of all description, to return to duty over a maximum period of 15 days,” he was quoted as saying.
Nazhuri added that those who did not comply with the orders would receive strong sanctions.
He called on the Libyan youth and the “Salafist brethren”, who have found themselves under attack by Ansar Al-Sharia and its allies in the east of the country, to join with the army.
The call to arms has been viewed as a response to an upswing in violence in the west of the country. Yesterday the Libyan Revolutionaries Operations Room stated that recent air attacks on the town of Ghariyan had been carried out by international forces. The LROR also said that more members of Libya Shield had arrived in Warshefana which is effectively under siege by the Libya Dawn operation.
The appointment of Nazhuri to the job of Chief of Staff was a sign of the increasingly close alliance between Operation Dignity and the House of Representatives. Nazhuri, a commander within the Dignity Operation, is now nominally in charge of the Tobruk-based Karama (Dignity) forces and answerable to the House of Representatives.
Nazhuri’s selection led Operation Dignity to declare that it was the legitimate Libyan Army, a claim it has made since it began its mission this May to rid Benghazi, in particular, of Islamists forces.
However the appointment of Nazhuri caused a split within the armed forces, with the previous Chief of Staff, Major-General Abdussalam Jadallah Obeidi, repeatedly claiming his dismissal was illegitimate.
Former General Khalifa Hafter, the leader of Operation Dignity, has been far less visible in recent months and his relationship with Nazhuri is ambiguous. Operation Dignity sources have indicated that despite Karama’s decision to place itself at the disposal of the House of Representatives, Hafter remains in control.
This article was originally published here.